October is Pastor Appreciation month and every church and each individual in those churches should do something to show their pastor appreciation for all he and his family give to the Lord by serving the church.
My Dad was a pastor – I was one of those “preacher’s kids.” Dad and Mom made huge sacrifices to serve God in local churches and although I never heard them complain, I knew that life for our family was a lot different from anyone else – except other pastors. And it wasn’t just dealing with the lack of money, or living in some parsonage that no church member would ever live in, or all the school activities and birthday parties and special events that were missed.
I think the biggest sacrifice my parents made was in allowing – even inviting – the people around them to share their deepest hurts, betrayals, anger and disappointment and then truly “bearing” those burdens with them. They dealt with the disappointment of knowing when some people volunteered to do something in the church, it would soon be forgotten and my parents would, once again, be called upon to “pick up the slack.” There was an understanding of long lists of things expected of them which were never stated in a job description. They served as janitors and landscapers and snow movers. Rarely did a church reimburse all the expenses paid from the family checking account to host missionaries, evangelists, and youth groups from other churches “just passing through” who needed a place to sleep for the night.
My parents never mentioned any of these things – they just served. Let me clearly state: when God calls people to serve Him and they answer that call as pastors, every sacrifice is rewarded by Him. There is great satisfaction in being a pastor and most of us would not trade what we do for anything on this earth.
Still, pastors need to be commended, thanked, rewarded – they need to be appreciated. Take action. DO SOMETHING to show your pastor, his wife and his family how much he is loved.
Whatever you do, don’t make a big show or give an announcement in church or ask the pastor and his family to stand up in front. Remember, he does hundreds of things in the life of your church that no one will ever know about. He is not looking for recognition. Your pastor puts great effort in pointing people’s attention to God – not to himself. Give him the gift quietly, when no one is watching. That will mean a lot.